I’m honored to review my second Marc & Sons watch on this blog, and it was much needed! My last look at Marc & Sons was more than positive, with the Pro Diver 3 being one of the best dive watches for your money. But the Pro Diver 3 is no more, replaced by the Pro Diver 4, which i can only assume is as capable as holding this title as its predecessor.
The Elegance series from Marc & Sons is a longer-standing collection and is their take on a sporty dress watch. More sporty than “dressy”, this watch still holds the same bang for your buck as their dive collection.
I present to you, the Marc & Sons Elegance Ice Blue.
The watch comes in a leather-encased black box. It is nothing fancy or worth displaying, but it is well made and does the job of protecting the watch and keeping all the documents and links in one place.
The design of the Marc & Sons Elegance series is more sporty than anything else, which doesn’t correspond very well to the name of the collection. But for a company that makes unpretentious dive watches and Flieger watches, this is more elegant than what they might be used to create.
The most elegant, or “dressy” model in this line-up is definitely the Ice Blue dial! First of all, you rarely see this kind of dial on watches, but it also reminds me of some Rolex models featuring the same dial color. It just screams luxury in the minds of anyone who knows the high-end watch market.
The no-date layout is a great choice, in my opinion, accentuating the symmetry that uncomplicated watches wear so well.
Light is what makes this watch come alive thanks to the rough and organic-looking sunburst dial. It is not a fine sunburst effect like we so often see, but a rough, nonlinear, yet smooth and well-executed pattern. It is very striking in daylight, and can almost disappear in low-light conditions.
Overall proportions are good on the dial, but i still haven’t decided whether i like the 4 “double” markers or i would have preferred one at the 12 o’clock position.
Combine that striking dial with tall and polished hours indices, polished sword hands, an abundance of polished beveled edges, great metal finishing, and a subtle jubilee bracelet, and you have a winning combination!
As with the Pro Diver 3, I reviewed a while back, the case and bezel are finished and executed to a standard that seems above this price point.
This watch is more expensive than their dive models, but it is justified. It has more beveled edges, even under the case, a decorated movement, and a better crown execution.
The case and bezel
I feel that it’s important to note that the pictures on the Marc & Sons website have high mid-tone contrast, making the satin (or brushed) finish look much rougher. In reality, it is very smooth while keeping all the lines parallel and with the same depth.
The border between the polished bevels and brushed finish is immaculate, just like the radial bruised finish on the bezel, giving off that sunburst shine we all love to see! A view from the side will show how the chamfer of the case perfectly meets the underside chamfer of the bezel (and that’s is just satisfying).
The markers on the bezel are deeply engraved but do lack those sharp corners I saw on the ceramic bezel of the Pro Diver. Perhaps that is a design choice or a price choice, but not a choice that ruins the watch. These markers are filled with reflective black paint that won’t come off anytime soon because it lays deep in the engraved valley that shapes the numbers.
The crown is better executed than on their pro diver 3 series (it might have been upgraded on their new version). This means a sharped and more embossed logo, sharper teeth for a better grip, and even threading.
The dial is the main attraction here, as it should be. It sits under a perfectly aligned flat sapphire crystal with a decent AR coating.
Everything is perfectly aligned on this dial, period.
The tall applied hour’s markers are well executed for the price so that the light hitting the top edges reflects back uniformly on all the markers. Relatively sharp corners on the outside and a bit less sharp on the inside, but overall a great result considering the price.
The sword hands are nicely executed as well, with a very sharp edge running down the middle, and angles tips (i have seen my fair share of dull ridge lines on that kind of hands). The center of the second’s hand do show off some signs of machine pressing, but only if you look closely for them.
This all sits under a very cool ice blue sunburst dial if I can even call it that. The pattern engraved is not uniform and presents deep and curved ridges and shallows, giving it a very organic and natural look. It seems almost harder to execute than a normal fine sunburst effect, but I don’t know for sure.
The printing of the brand name is sharp and legible, but the text at the bottom part can look a bit thin in some areas. It might just be the font or the OCD that brings me to write 3000 words about a single watch 🙂
I would normally include the lume under the dial section, but Marc & Sons can apply the hell out of the BWG9 lume, so I thought it deserved its own spot under the light (no pun intended).
The hour’s markers and hands all feature my favorite lume, and i good quantity. The thick layer is well applied and doesn’t appear grainy or uneven. This shows in the dark, as they light up uniformly and with great blue intensity and duration. Even the little lume pip at the 12 o’clock shines just as bright!
The transition from light to dark environments is more subtle with this watch, mainly due to the fact that the blue light from the BGW9 matches that of the dial, makes it stand out less. But who cares when you have an ice blue dial!
The bracelet is a less dramatic version of a classic Rolex Jubilee bracelet, with flatter links and a chunky end-link.
The bracelet itself is well finished, for the price, but you can sense that most of the money went into the case and dial.
The disappointing part of the bracelet is definitely the end-links, where i feel that the machining could have been better. Perhaps Marc & Sons are not doing their own bracelet, but the center part of the end-link has some rather dull edges which don’t give off the wanted illusion of the continuation of the center links.
A shame, but from a normal viewing distance, this won’t be visible as much (and this watch looks great with a burgundy leather strap or a funky nato strap). To their credit, the end-links do fit perfectly without any play and are centered just right.
I chose the clasp with the fine adjustment for several reasons. The other one looks and feels a bit cheaper, I love fine adjustment for my watches and the increased weight helps balance the watch when you wear it a bit loose.
The other clasp is thinner which some may prefer, but the fine adjustment clasp has better finishing and execution.
The ETA 2824-2 is a well-known workhorse movement and considered by many the gold standard for mass-produced entry-level watch movements. The reality is that many other movements from other companies will work just as well, but will they work as long? Having this fully decorated movement under the hood also helps to keep the price up in the secondary market, should you want to sell in the future.
The movement has hacking, ticks at 28.800 beats/hours (4Hz or 8 ticks a second), and actually features a hidden date complication that you will feel when adjusting the time.
This 2824 is fully decorated and there deserves the open case back that they put on this watch. The Geneva stripes, perlage, and polished curved engravings are a joy to look at and is a good reminder of why they called it the Elegance series.
On the wrist
The slim profile of this watch and its 39.5 mm case make it a very versatile watch that will suit anyone except those with giant wrists.
On my 17cm wrists, the watch feels more like a sporty/dressy option than a pure sports watch. The jubilee bracelet thought the wrist perfectly thanks to the small links and the loose construction, making it a very comfortable option that can slide under most dress-shirt cuffs.
I sized mine to be rather tight, but after an evening out, i tend to use the fine adjustments of the clasp to loosen it a bit.
What could be better
I would have liked to see the following things being done on this watch, while realistically keeping it in the same price range:
- An option to get a fully polished or naked bezel without the markers. They make the watch more sporty, which some might like, but not everyone. They could have gone all in on the elegance theme.
- Shaper cuts and machining on the end-links to match the surprising quality of the case and dial.
- In my humble opinion, a brushed metal rehaut would have suited this watch even better than the one currently on it.
Marc & Sons show us yet again how the german efficiency can produce a great bang for your buck watch, with no expenses spared and a top nodge movement. You get what you pay for!
Since they weren’t making a classic dive or pilot’s watch, they have played a bit more around with the overall design and managed to create a line-up of watches that stands out from their other collections, while remaining a true Marc & Sons watch.
Just like Rolex with its Datejust and Day-Date collections, the Elegance collection has its place in the catalog and on the wrists of anyone who loves affordable and colorful quality.